This post was inspired by this article!
I am not a parent yet, but I intend to be one day – for at least 3 kids and I can’t wait to raise my kids with healthy habits that they have control over. This may be easier for me to say now. But what I do know is that there is no excuse when it comes to giving your kids junk food. With the plethora of unhealthy, toxic choices that are available today, there are just as many healthy tasty and fun options too.
I know that my good friend, and fantastic mom Lisa Borden can vouch for this. As a mother of 3, she is a true example of this. Her kids know and appreciate what it means to eat well and have their “ cake” (albeit from Sweets from the Earth or Kelly’s Bake Shoppe) and eat it too. They have been raised to understand that there is JUNK food, chemically processed kind and ethical homemade or naturally derived kind of junk food, which I would rather refer to as healthy indulgences or “good” junk food. These are still treats, still with sugar and fat, but they are a much better option than what is typically available for kids.
To that matter, please check out Lisa’s son Ryan Storm, an acclaimed Toronto food critic who knows what it means to eat well – at 12 years old!
What infuriates me the most is that some parents even claim to be prisoners to their kids choices. Blaming them for what they buy – “because that is all they will eat!?” Rather, it should be the parents as the decision makers and the nurturers in their child’s life. Granted marketing claims and media are not helping with this. Making parents believe they are actually doing a good thing and giving their child a “treat” or something “special” and most importantly putting a smile on their face. Which in the end makes the parent feel like a hero. To me, that is NOT proactive parenting. That is a passive cop-out, letting kids rule and not doing the due diligence required to find better “junk” alternatives – that still taste good! I don’t even like to use the word “junk” as no junk should ever go into your kids body!
I know there is the argument of the birthday parties, school pizza days and other occasions that a parent may not have control over. I understand, and believe that there is room for moderation and exceptions but if the healthy habits and standards aren’t there to begin with, then this becomes more difficult to implement as a child grows up.
I know this, because one of the biggest contentions I get from parents is that their 8 year old just won’t eat that piece of fruit, or “healthy” chocolate chip cupcake – because it’s just not the same as a the chemically processed and toxic version. At that point it becomes too late, and the child had not only developed unhealthy eating habits, but also unhealthy behavior habits towards food, believing that “healthy” food is gross and not cool. I would just like to mention that my whole philosophy on food, is that healthy food HAS to taste good and be enjoyed no matter what. Or what’s the point?
It is up to the parents to instill values in their kids at home. Kids should be sent to school with healthy and fun snacks. Of course in addition to loading them up with apples and carrots, they need a tasty “treat” too. Ones that actually make their friends jealous! This can be done, however instead it is typically easier for parents to say, well I may as well just give them “this cookie” or “those chips” because they will just want it anyways (I come across this too often with my clients). The truth is, if you create at that, then they will. So instead why not get involved with your kids and come up with some snacks that are colourful and tasty, sweet – whether store bought or homemade. The good news is there are lots of options & also if they are part of making their own yummy treats, they will be more likely to eat them too!
Here are some ideas to start with:
- Instead of candy, gummies TRY dried fruit – okay so that may sound boring, but get some blueberries, raspberries, mango, apricots and cut them up in little pieces and you’ve got the best tasting naturally sweetened “gummies” that you can find. Colourful, sweet, chewy, not food dye or white sugar – it’s a perfect match! (make sure you are buying varieties that are sulphite free and non-gmo)
- Instead of soda and sugared juices TRY to get some 100% fruit juice and mix it with water and even put some berries in there. The ultimate naturally-sweetened vitamin water.
- Instead of potato chips TRY Organic corn chips, sweet potato chips, zucchini chips, spelt pretzels, homemade organic popcorn, kale chips, even chocolate covered kale chips.
- Instead of jello or pudding TRY Yoso coconut yogurt top it with fresh fruit or dark chocolate chips – this is a perfect nut free snack to pack up or for after school.
- Instead of Ice cream TRY Coconut Bliss coconut ice cream. Flavours include vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter fudge, berry swirl, coconut – plan an Ice Cream Sundae night!
- Instead of Cookies TRY Better cookies from Sweet from the Earth, New Moon Kitchen or make a trip to Kelly’s Bake Shoppe, or Bunner’s Bakery–just note these are still “treats”, and should be treated as such but they are much healthier options! Of course making some of your own cookies at home would also be a nice way of knowing what is going in your treats and it also gets your child involved in the making. Try these Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches
- Instead of dairy milk chocolate bars TRY Giddy yoyo, Endangered species, Zazubean Chocolate, Chocosol or Cocoa camino.
Some Nourishing KID Resources worth checking out are:
If you are at a loss for ideas and want to get inspired in a fun and friendly environment, luckily we’ve got many upcoming opportunities to give you the chance to learn how to make some new healthy recipes for the family:
Better baking – May 13th
Weekday meal Planning – April 15th
Killer Kids recipes- May 14th
Pro-teen – May 21st
And the most exciting news is our very first offering of a Delicious Kids Day Camp this summer!
Register early before spaces fill up!
It is my goal to inspire you to stay on track, find alternatives, eat well, live well and nourish yourself & your kids….if you have them
Here are some tips that will help you get through the holidays. Thanks Innocent Indulgence for the great ideas!!
1. Set a goal of maintaining your weight and/or size during the holidays, of course you don’t want to gain wait but also don’t try and go on a diet! Be realistic.
2. Be sure that you are drinking lots of water or herbal tea during the day. Drinking water will keep you feeling full longer and will help you stay healthier during the holidays.
3. By starting your day off with a great breakfast. You will be less likely to fill up on holiday treats later. Also, you can balance what you plan on eating later and indulge in moderation on foods that you would like to enjoy later in the day. Nutritious breakfast ideas include: smoothie, green juice, fruit and whole grain toast or cereals.
4. Plan what you are going to eat ahead of time at holiday parties. By preparing yourself, you will be less likely to eat everything in sight when you see the spread. Start by limiting yourself to only one plate of food. Also, try eating a small healthy meal or snack before you go, so you won’t be as hungry at the party. Eating celery, drinking a green juice or having something hearty like hummus helps to satisfy cravings.
5. Be a sweetie and bring a dish or a snack. Not only will you contribute to the spread, but you will bring your favorite “healthy version” of the treats, share the goodness and ensure that there will be at least one nutritious option.
6. Keep your body moving! It doesn’t mean you have to start training for a marathon, but this a perfect time of year to connect with friends and family and play games outside, go for a walk or jog, ice skate, join a gym, or even start home workout videos.
7. Take time for yourself! The holidays are a busy time of year and can be very stressful. Take at least 5 minutes every day for yourself. Sit or lay down, clear your mind, relax and just breathe and enjoy the true meaning of the season.
8. Watch your intake of calories from beverages. During this time of year, many will be drinking lattes, hot chocolate, hot cider, and alcohol. All are loaded with empty calories which mean they don’t have a whole lot of nutritional value. Empty calories can lead to weight gain, especially when paired with all of the other holiday goodies. Try these versions of hot chocolate and Chai lattes and indulge without guilt!
9. Cookie platters and exchanges seem to make great gifts, but they also tempt you to nibble continuously. Instead of keeping them out on the counter, place them in a glass container and freeze them or give them to someone else as a gift! Or make these delectable cookies or Vegan Chewy Chocolate Brownies for your holiday party.
10. When you are eating holiday treats, enjoy them. When you decide you want a piece of pumpkin pie or a couple ginger bread cookies, choose a reasonable portion, sit down and enjoying every bite and don’t feel guilty. It is the holidays and they only come once a year!
If you’re still looking for holiday gifts or a way to pave the path to a healthy new year, book healthy cooking classes with us. Classes are up to 40% off for only a few more weeks. So don’t miss out! Check out the many discounted classes and packages here.
Enjoy a very special and healthy holidays!
Credit for this post and these tips were so fabulously inspired by Innocent Indulgence, namely Alisha Chasey (owner) and Rachel P (intern at ASU). My favourite dessert company in Arizona! Wish they were local!
It’s probably safe to say that summer is the favorite time of year for most of us. It means swimming, sun tanning, not having to bundle up in layers of clothing to go outside, and most importantly – cold treats! This week on the blog we’re going to look at summer treat options: vegan style!
The sound of your neighborhood’s ice cream truck likely floods you with childhood memories of sticky, sweet, cold goodies. Most of those treats however, are loaded with highly processed sugars, syrups, dairy products, and even fillers containing gluten which aren’t really that great for you. The good news is that there are plenty of alternatives that actually provide your body with some nutrients.
To start with, let’s look at some dairy alternatives so that you can still enjoy cold creamy treats without the nasty side effects of consuming cow’s milk*.
Ice cream can be made with any milk alternative, but we highly recommend coconut or other nut milks given their creamy consistency. Using a dairy alternative as a base, you can add any flavor you like and completely customize your ice cream. Try chocolate chips, nut butters, fruits, cocoa powder, or even just honey. Check out the bottom of the page for a delicious ice cream recipe!
It’s a common misconception that you need an ice cream maker to make your own ice cream. Whereas having an ice cream maker might make the process a little easier, it’s not too difficult to do without one – it just takes a bit more dedication! Once you have mixed your ingredients together, put them in a freezer safe bowl and place your mixture in the freezer. Every hour the mixture needs to be stirred so that it freezes into a fluffier, more ice cream like consistency. An ice cream maker simply does the mixing for you. You can also pour your ice cream mixture into popsicle molds for delicious healthy popsicles!
You can also try making a sorbet, which is super simple and tasty, consisting of only three ingredients: fruit, sweetener (honey, agave, rice syrup), and lime juice. This can also be frozen into popsicle form. Again, compile your ingredients, blend, and freeze! It’s that easy.
I fully sympathize with not having the time to make frozen goodies yourself, so if you’re at the store and looking for something cold and nutritious, what should you choose?
We highly recommend Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss coconut ice cream. It’s free of major food allergens (although this varies slightly with different flavors) including dairy, soy, and sugar, yet it’s creamy and tastes amazing. Coconut Bliss can be purchased at most health food grocery stores. Luna and Larry’s also makes ice cream bars if you’re looking for something to enjoy on the run.
So there you have it- 3 alternatives to unhealthy summer treats that do not involve processed sugar or dairy ingredients!
As promised above, check out this delicious recipe below for coconut mango ice cream!
*What’s wrong with consuming cow’s milk? A few things come to mind: it has high artificial hormone and antibiotic levels, it can suppress your immune system, and it makes the body acidic. This is a big topic and will be explored in detail in another blog post soon, we promise!
Tell us your favorite summer treat and you’ll be entered to will a coupon for a free tub of Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss ice cream!
Coconut Mango “Ice Cream”
What’s In It?
- 3 cans of organic coconut milk
- 3⁄4 cup maple syrup
- 1⁄4 cup rice syrup
- 2 tablespoons grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 cups of chopped mango
How It’s Made
1. Combine coconut milk, maple syrup, rice syrup, ginger, mangoes, vanilla extract and salt in blender. Process mixture until well blended. Pour into large mixing bowl.
2. Pour mixture into ice cream machine or food processor and turn on, occasionally scraping sides of bowl, until creamy and somewhat firm.
This non-dairy ice cream is a treat suitable for any and all types. With no sugar, preservatives, or colours, it allows the natural exotic flavours of mango and coconut milk to come out.
Nearly at their seasonal prime, blueberries will be bursting their blue richness on Canadian soil over the coming weeks. If there were one berry to be consuming on a regular basis, it would be the blueberry. Blueberries are ranked among the top superfood fruits and vegetables for their antioxidant activity. Not only that but they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients that make them even more delightful to consume.
If you don’t already have enough reasons why you should be consuming these blue gems…here’s a few more.
5 Benefits of eating blueberries
- Blueberries are a source of the antioxidant ellagic acid which blocks metabolic pathways that can lead to cancer
- Blueberry skins contain resveratrol – which has proven to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and blood sugar lowering properties
- Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, E and fiber.
- They are only 81 calories per cup!
- They’re a cool and refreshing fruit perfect for hot summer days!
5 Uses for Blueberries
- Combine them in a fruit salad with other berries
- Blend them into a smoothie for liquid nutrition
- Bake them into muffins or pancakes
- Eat them fresh right out of the container
- Make a blueberry pie!
Wild Blueberry Tart
- 1 cup almonds, roasted and cooled
- 3/4-1 cup oat flour
- 2 tbsp maple crystals or organic sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp agar flakes (natural form of gelatin)
- 1 3/4 cup apple juice
- 2 tbsp tapioca (or cornstarch) dissolved in 1/4 cup apple juice
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Sea salt
- 2 cups fresh wild blueberries, washed and drained
Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 9” tart pan.
For the Crust:
- In food processor, grind nuts to a meal. In mixing bowl, combine nuts, flour, maple crystals, baking powder and salt.
- In separate small bowl, whisk together oil and maple syrup.
- Mix wet ingredients (oil and syrup) into dry ingredients (nut meal and flours).
- Press crust mixture into tart pan. Refrigerate 15-20 minutes, then bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely.
For the filling
- In a small pot, simmer agar flakes in apple juice until agar completely dissolves. When agar dissolves, add tapioca/juice mixture. Whisk until mixture thickens. Add maple syrup.
- Add pinch of salt and berries. Cook 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and let mixture cool partially. Pour into cooled crust pan.
- Let set completely. Garnish with mint before serving. There may be a small amount of filling left, you can enjoy as a pudding by blending in food processor.
Originally featured on Chatelaine
Don’t get overwhelmed with too many recipes when it comes to your holiday cooking this year. You may be deciding whether to stick with tradition, or just go with what is easiest and quickest to prepare. Why not go with some simple, healthy options, even if it means breaking a tradition or two? It will not only save you calories and excess fat, but you will have a colourful and balanced dinner on your plate and actually feel great afterward. Here are some ideas on how to sort through each component of your meal and how to choose wisely:
Instead of a cheesy dip, devilled eggs, or cheese puffs, serve a warming bowl of split pea soup. Soup makes a great holiday appetizer since it fills you up without giving you too many calories. It is also served warm, which means it will give you time to sip it before you eat too many bacon wrapped bread sticks!
White mashed potatoes with butter, cream, or milk are a holiday staple, but try making some squash instead this year. There are many varieties available, such as acorn, butternut, buttercup, or even spaghetti squash. All you have to do is cut the squash in half, drizzle it with olive or coconut oil, add a pinch of cinnamon, and bake it for an hour. Squash is delicious alongside any dish, and is naturally sweet with fewer calories and fat than traditional mashed potatoes.
Standard dishes like creamed spinach and overcooked veggies coated with cheese sauce have more calories than necessary for one meal. Instead, choose to lightly steam some green beans, Swiss chard, or broccoli. Be sure not to over-steam though, since you want your veggies to be crisp and green! Drizzle them with olive oil and lemon juice and top it all off with chopped almonds or cranberries for a unique flavour.
Instead of ham or roast beef, consider leaner and cleaner options like organic free-range turkey breast baked with rosemary and fresh lemon juice. Or go vegetarian and venture into making a lentil loaf or quinoa pilaf.
A good alternative to fruitcake, rich puddings, and parfaits is to opt for a homemade gingerbread loaf or cookies made with spelt flour, maple syrup, and applesauce. You will not only save calories but also actually add fibre and nutrients to your dessert tray!
It doesn’t matter whether you have something to stuff or not, because this veggie stuffing recipe tastes great all on its own or on your plate beside some quinoa, squash, or steamed greens.
This delicious recipe will be featured in my Holiday Harvest Class on Thursday! (3 Spots Left – come and join the fun)
Apple Walnut Stuffing
6 cups firmly-packed diced whole kamut bread
1/2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped red onion
1 1/2 cups peeled, diced tart apple (granny smith)
3 bunches scallions, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon each: dried thyme, savory
3/4 teaspoon seasoned salt, more or less to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups apple juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the diced bread on a baking sheet.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until dry and lightly browned.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the red onion and sauté over medium heat until golden. Add the apple and sauté for another 5 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the bread cubes with the onion and apple mixture. Add all the remaining ingredients except the apple juice and toss together. Sprinkle in the apple juice slowly while stirring to moisten the ingredients evenly.
- Transfer the mixture to an oiled shallow 1 1/2-quart baking pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until browned and still slightly moist. Stir once during the baking time. Transfer to a covered serving container.
Marni’s Delicious Knowledge
Who doesn’t love stuffing? Serve this recipe at your holiday meal this year and your guests
will savour every delicious bite. Not sure what to do with leftovers? Toss them in a wrap with fresh
vegetables the next day for a filling, festive lunch or snack.
Originally featured in Chatelaine
These cold, dark evenings at this time of year seem to coax out everyone’s sweet tooth. There is just something about the winter months makes us want to load up on sweet foods, but that doesn’t mean we need to load up on empty calories!
With Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and holiday parties fast approaching, we all need to make an extra effort to stay in control not to overindulge. Holiday treats are exciting to serve, fun to make, and make us feel happy. However, they aren’t always healthy. This doesn’t mean that I’m telling you not to enjoy them, but there is no reason to give your body desserts that have no nutritional value, when you can benefit from every bite by making your own desserts with natural ingredients that don’t compromise on taste or your figure!
Most holiday desserts – including cakes, cookies, and pies – are full of:
- Hydrogenated oils and saturated fats – These are used to keep most desserts and pastries on the shelf longer (they stick to your hips longer too) and are loaded with dense fats that can cause blockages in your heart and arteries.
- Refined sugars – These can be anything from white powered sugar to table sugar or even brown sugar. Other than being overly sweet and full of empty calories that accumulate on your waistline, they are often used to make your crave more than one piece of pie or more than one cookie.
- Processed white flour – This is often used to make cakes fluffy, light, and airy but give your body no nutritional value aside from starches which equal excess calories.
Choose these wholesome ingredients to make your cakes, cookies, squares, and pies:
- Coconut oil and grapseed oil – These are pure natural oils that can be heated to high temperatures without denaturing their precious fats. They work great in a variety of recipes and are good for you too. For example, coconut oil promotes health and offers a host of nutrients that benefit our skin, hair, nails, and the organs. See here for more info.
- Sucanat, maple syrup, and dried fruit – These wholesome sweeteners can be used instead of sugar in any dessert recipe. Sucanat is dark and rich and a great substitute for brown sugar, especially for gingerbread and date squares. Maple syrup gives a nice smooth sweetness to cookies and cakes and dried fruit is a great natural way to add sweetness without sugar.
- Spelt, kamut, or oat flour – All of these are great substitutes for both white and wheat flour. They are high in fiber, protein, and vitamins and can be substituted one-for-one in any baked recipe that calls for white flour. You can even use unbleached light spelt flour, which is like all-purpose flour and works great for squares, fluffy cakes, and loafs.
To learn how to bake some delicious and guild free desserts, join one of my dessert classes!
Orange Apricot Fig-Date Squares
1 cup chopped apricots, or dates
1 cup chopped dried figs
Juice of 1 orange
½ cup water
½ cup coconut butter
½ cup sucanat, coconut or maple sugar
1 ¾ cup light spelt flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup rolled oats
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Combine dates, orange juice, and water in a saucepan. Cook, covered, on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a bowl, cream together the coconut oil and “sugar”. Stir in the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add the oats and mix using your hands. The dough will be crumbly but will hold together when squeezed.
- Press 2/3 of the dough onto an oiled 8 or 9-inch square baking pan. Stir the date mixture and spread it over the dough. Crumble the remaining dough on top.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Cool in the pan and cut into squares.
Marni’s Delicious Knowledge:
People don’t usually know that both figs and apricots are great sources of iron. But make
sure that you buy apricots that are dark brown and not bright orange (due to sulphites).
The rich and decadent taste of dark turkish apricots makes this recipe come to life! Also opt to use coconut sugar for a low glycemic option.
I’m a maple syrup and honey kind of girl. So I need to be convinced when something “new” and trendy hits the market. I also need to be 100% sure that it is 100% natural in order for me to even consider it.
Since Xylitol comes from a wood fiber, I thought I would give it a chance!
Xylitol is… a natural sweetener found in fibrous vegetables and fruits, as well as in several hardwood trees. It’s extracted and purified into a crystalline form to create a substance that looks, bakes, and tastes like regular white sugar. But the similarities end there – xylitol has antimicrobial properties that don’t promote or feed dangerous bacteria and fungi. Plus, it is all natural!
Where it can be used:
Anywhere you use sugar. Replace it cup-for-cup in baking or sweetening.
- Alkalizing and anti-aging
- Slows a steady release of energy
- Inhibits yeast growth
- Increases absorption of B-vitamins and calcium
- Inhibits plaque and dental cavities by up to 80%, it also remineralizes tooth enamel, increases saliva production and protects saliva proteins, and reduces infections in the mouth and nasopharynx
- Natural insulin stabilizer, diabetic-friendly, and has a lower glycemic index than honey (and even lentils!)
- Diminishes sugar and carb cravings
- Prevents osteoporosis, middle ear infections, and maintains hormonal balance
This was news to me!
I had no idea I could use Xyla in anything and everything to replace sugar. I was told it has no after taste like stevia, so I had to put this to the test. I thought I would mix it in to one of my brownie recipes and see how it matched up. To be honest, I have to say that they turned out pretty good. I could definitely tell that they weren’t as sweet. And it’s not that they had an aftertaste, but more that I couldn’t taste the normal sweetness of what I usually use (namely maple syrup). It was definitely interesting pouring something WHITE into my recipe that looks just like sugar, but I can assure you that it’s not even close.
So will I continue to use it?
I think I will experiment with it in other recipes, but I am not ready to make any kind of switch over in my kitchen. I know it is extremely beneficial for those with diabetes and other blood sugar disorders and I would surely recommend it to such an individual. But for me and my regular crowd – I think I am going to stick with my tried, tested and true maple syrup, coconut nectar, coconut sugar and honey!
Chewy Chocolate Banana Brownies
What’s In It?
1 cup oat or spelt flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup xylitol
1 mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup organic coconut oil
½ cup vanilla rice milk
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
How It’s Made
- Oil an 8×8 baking pan and set aside.
- Measure oat flour into a large bowl, add the cocoa, baking powder, salt and whisk together.
- In a separate bowl, mix together xylitol, banana and oil. Add the rice milk and vanilla extract and blend well.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry, using a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chips.
- Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until tester in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting.
Now every time I make some version of nut milk, I am inspired to try something new with the leftover pulp (fiber). Just about this time of year, every year there is something that has me craving muffins!I made a fresh batch of Brazil nut milk the other day, complete with all the same goodies I use in my almond milk recipe. Brazil nuts are truly something special. They are not only the largest of the nuts, but they have such an interesting taste. Did you know that you only need 2 a day to get in your daily dose of selenium ( a major cancer-fighting antioxidant). Whether it is the whole nut or in milk form – you will still get the same benefit (well maybe not exactly but and for the sake of this recipe!)
Even though the milk and the fiber are separate after making nut milk – I put them back together in this recipe. So using this as my base and source of inspiration, I chose buckwheat flour for some reason to combine it with – maybe it had to do with the letter B?
Buckwheat – being gluten free, despite “wheat” in it’s name is loaded with magnesium and flavenoids and helps to reduce the risk of cholesterol and heart disease. It has an intense and some would call it “bitter” taste. But to me, it is hearty, rustic and satisfying.
So now that I got the base covered – this recipe was starting to seem like my Moist Banana loaf, and since B was the theme, I decided to keep going with it. So in Banana’s went and for a change, some berries (blue and cran).
So their you have it – a gluten free, vegan muffin that is sure to get your energy levels going in the morning.
Share with Us!
What is your favourite kind of muffin?
What do you like to put in your muffins?
Have you ever made gluten free muffins before?
Brazilian Banana Berry Buckwheat Muffin
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp mesquite
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
2-3 ripe bananas (depending on their size)
½ cup brazil nut milk
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
¼ cup maple syrup or coconut nectar
1/3 cup applesauce + 1 tbsp ground chia
1 cup blueberries and cranberries
How it’s made!
- Pre heat oven to 350 F.
- Mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately.
- Use a large bowl for the dry ingredients. Then mix wet ingredients into dry and fold slowly, and mix together until there are no lumps. Stir in blueberries or chocolate chips.
- Drop by spoonfuls into an oiled muffin tray or pour batter into a loaf pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes if these are muffins or 40-50 minutes if this is a loaf.
Delight your palette with this late summer treat!
With summer coming to a close (sorry to say that out loud)- I am getting in my last bits of creativity for summer raw, frozen desserts. When it comes to desserts, it’s all about something refreshing, dense, slightly sweet – and overall delicious. You don’t want to overwhelm your palette with too many things – and no one likes a filmy, sugary residue on their teeth!
The inspiration for this recipe came from tasting a tart similar to these years ago at a raw food demo I attended. I just haven’t been able to get them out or my mind. And if you can believe, it has taken me until yesterday to finally re-create what I could remember of them.
All I remember is the filling being super creamy, moist and tart. The crust being crumbly, chewy and rich. So I gathered my most favourite of raw ingredients and started creating.
Instead of doing a large pie, I opted for mini tarts. That way I could freeze them, and grab them. As oppose to trying to cut a “healthy portion” each time I wanted a slice. This way I could also decorate them individually… and they are just so cute!
They are bite size and easy to eat for a quick snack or dessert. Take them to a friends for a potluck or stash them in your freezer and keep them for yourself
Creamy Mango Delight
2 cups dried coconut
1/2 cup raw cashews
3 tablespoons coconut nectar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons dried coconut
2 tablespoons dried goji berries and/or cacao nibs
2 cups dried mango, soaked for 3 hours in 2 cups water with half a lemon wedge
1/4 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup raw macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon coconut butter or coconut manna
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. In food processor – add the coconut, lemon zest, coconut nectar and salt until mixture forms a ball and is fully blended.
2. Press into a tart pan or mini tart pan and set aside.
3. In a high speed blender or Vita Mix - blend the soaked mango (set the soaking water aside) dates, macadamia nuts, coconut butter and lemon juice.
4. Blend until creamy, may need to fold with a rubber spatula for optimum consistency. Pour mixture into pie tart crusts and garnish with coconut and goji berries!
5. Place in fridge or freezer for a few hours so that it sets.
Share with us!
What’s your favourite raw dessert?
Do you love Mango?
When are you going to make these?
Last week me and my assistant Abby took on our own recipe testing challenge: making an ice cream cookie sandwich. Something we have been drooling over and talking about for weeks and something I have never made before nor have I eaten in a long time. The last time I had a cookie sandwich I think I was at a baseball game, or some kind of theme park and was most likely under the age of 10. So this was an exciting challenge to take on.
We found a cookie that we wanted to use as our base in a gluten free recipe book “The Gluten Free Vegan” By Susan O’Brien. Although most of the ingredients were totally up to par, we still made our own adjustments. Using three kinds of coconut ingredients these cookies could not fail to please our palette. The flour base we used was an all purpose flour from Cuisine Soleil a gluten free Canadian bakery that specializes in allergy free flour blends. This particular flour was a blend of tapioca, chickpea, brown rice flour. This gave the cookie a unique nutty flavour and allowed it to hold together. When it comes to gluten free baking it’s important to have the right blend so that your cookie doesn’t fall apart. Gluten free cookies will always be more crumbly and dense – but they can still taste amazing.
Since we had never made this recipe before, we weren’t really totally sure how much the cookies were going to spread. So we plopped a whole bunch of cookies onto the tray and did batch number one.
They didn’t spread very much. So when there isn’t enough surface area, the bottom takes on the heat and starts to burn + all the chocolate chips shifted to the bottom which also caused them to burn. These cookies were too small and top heavy to make into cookie sandwiches so we put them on top of coconut ice cream for a small treat before the next batch.
For the second tray (of the same batter) I decided to press the cookie dough down flat so that they would form wider and larger cookies. Now we have a great cookie to work with to make the perfect cookie sandwich!
So the big question…What are the THREE types of coconut used in this recipe?
Note that this cookie is not only gluten free, but it is vegan, nut free, naturally sweetened with low glycemic sweeteners and full of superfood ingredients!
Coconut Cookie Chipwich
1 cup virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut nectar
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tablespoon gound chia + 3 tbsp water (equals 1 egg)
2 1/2 cups Cuisine Soleil All purpose gluten free flour mix
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a mixing bowl combine the coconut oil with coconut sugar and nectar and mix well.
3. Once the mixture is fully combined, add the vanilla and chia mixture and stir.
4. In another bowl, put in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
5. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix well.
6. Add the chocolate chips and stir together.
7. Scoop even balls of cookie dough on baking tray and press down to flatten.
8. Bake for 15 minutes until bottoms are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.